Thursday, 16 April 2015

Building, crediting and utilising your learning

On building...

While I have undertaken somewhere in the region of fifty online courses, I am not suggesting that you do the same, unless you want to.

Only study as much or as little as you think is necessary and/or your MOOCs/studies indicate you should, but this is where online learning really comes into its own, because it offers you the opportunity to build your own program of study... a program that others can guide you on, but ultimately only you can figure out how much or little you need to cover.

The reason I have undertaken so many is because I have been pro-actively building my own program of study to satisfy the areas of knowledge I know I need to acquire if I want to achieve success as an entrepreneur - as my current specialization in entrepreneurship should demonstrate - based around the business practice of my multi-faceted focus. 

Creative Writing with Film and Screen Studies was the degree I studied at university and while it served as a hugely invaluable exploration of two areas I feel very passionate about - writing and film - there other areas of fascination it could not cover.

If you look at my list of studies on this blog and the various MOOCs I have undertaken, you will begin to see that my focus stretches far beyond film and writing into areas as diverse as neuroscience, entrepreneurship, anthropology, web science, big data, negotiation, conflict resolution, branding, e-learning, psychology, language learning, research methods, human nutrition, leadership, human rights, cyber security, management practice, health and wellbeing.

I have a transdisciplinary focus which is to say that I have my feet in many different waters of knowledge, precisely because they fascinate and precisely because I know somewhere in all of oceans of knowledge there is a business idea for my entrepreneurial focus.

A business idea I have been developing directly as a result of having undertaking all of these MOOCs that have been exercising my understanding in all these diverse areas.

For me, this is why MOOCs and online learning are so invaluable; a taught degree program I have always found to be way too constrictive (and very much out of date), so it was only logical after graduating from my degree I would build my own program of study to expand its focus even more so. 

This is also why I want to work for myself, because I have yet to find a job that would allow me to satisfy all of these areas. Therefore, like my education, I have to build my own one.

Admittedly, it grew far beyond what I initially anticipated, but that growth was just a natural part of the proactive adaptability have been refining. 

The point is, going into it with my first MOOC The Future of Storytelling, I did not know what was going to follow after it, I just completed it moved onto the next MOOC E-Learning and Digital Cultures 

There is still plenty more I would like to study, but for the time being my actual entrepreneurial practice is the focus; as it is being nurtured in my ongoing entrepreneurship specialization, something that is finally acknowledging all of the studying I have done for the past year-and-a-half.

On crediting...

What's the difference between a taught degree and a MOOC?


When you undertake a degree or any university course on the successful completion of the courses various modules you acquire credits points. Basically, you need to acquire enough credit in order to actually be awarded your degree.

With MOOCs they do not (yet) award credit, so all of the MOOCs I have undertaken have not been building towards being awarded a master's degree; in fact, if they had I would probably already be well past a master's degree.

Anyhow, that is the major difference between the two: with one you accumulate credit that demonstrates you did all of the studies and with the other (if you successfully complete the course and if it awards one) you receive a statement of accomplishment that demonstrates you did all of the studies. 

Basically, credit costs a lot more than knowledge, you now, that silly little thing you can actually do something with - I know which one I would rather have!

What's more employers more and more so really do not care about the credit side of things; all they want is someone who knows the knowledge and can put that knowledge into successful action. 

Therefore, a Statement of Accomplishment can easily hold just as much weight; a collection of them can really put a credited degree in its place!

Everyone else keeps telling me how it will not work, but that's okay, they can worry for me. I do not have time to worry, I have work to do.

However, if you do complete an online course while you will have the knowledge, you may not necessarily attain a completion certificate: either because you did not finish the course in time or because the course does not actually award them

A record of your accomplishments

and this platform is one way in which I am utilizing my online learning.

On utilising...

A little and very annoyingly common story in today's world... 

Not long after gradating I sat for an interview at a creative agency, I told the interviewer all about my First-Class degree and the fact that BOTH of my final dissertations had received the highest marks of their modules. 
The interviewer did not care. 
It was only when I explained that my high marks should demonstrate to him just how much time, hard work and persistence I had put into my creative endeavours that he started to show a real interest in me.  
The moral of the story: degrees count for very little today, employers want proactive, adaptive, hard workers who can demonstrate all of that knowledge and experience in a portfolio of work, either generated from previous work experience or from within an education environment.

I am cutting back, because I have had a solid year of studying and I am having a year of putting those studies into action.

That need is reflected in my choice of MOOCs 

Not only could I use MOOCs for my professional career focused development, but I could also utilise them for my personal development as an individual (again something that a traditional degree course is hard press to teach).

Hopefully by now I have established the inherent need to be proactive when it comes to successful online learning. 

That's the great thing about online learning it really is about building your own program of study and taking charge of your ideal career. 

And it's (mostly) free - you would have to be a stark raving mad not to exploit it.

So get proactive and adapt!

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